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Noise ordinance causing buzz among bikers
Updated on: 10.16.13

News of Nashville's year-old noise ordinance is spreading among members of the motorcycle community after an article was placed in the October issue of Hoosier Motorcyclist magazine.

The article was originally posted on in August and was redistributed to Bargersville-based Hoosier Motorcyclist, an ABATE magazine.

The article -- which cites no source for its information except for quoting the ordinance in places -- claims that "Nashville law enforcement officers will be targeting motorcycles."

The unnamed writer goes on to state that "given that the ultimate goal of the town of Nashville is the elimination of motorcycles from their streets, expect to be harassed in the future during your visits there regardless of whether or not your bike is quiet."

It has been viewed more than 6,000 times on Hoosier Motorcyclist has a readership of approximately 35,000.

Nashville's noise ordinance, parts of which have been on the books since 1970, limits noise of all types. The group of local residents who worked with the town council to revise it in 2012 repeatedly stated that it is not targeting any particular group.

But "somewhere along the line, someone felt that the ordinance was targeted against them, and they're offended," said Jane Ellis, executive director of the Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

A paraphrase of the Hoosier Motorcyclist article was shared on Facebook with Fort Wayne-based Old Fort Motorcycle Club, and as of Oct. 14, had been shared with other Facebook users 1,362 times.

"Apparently, the city of Nashville, IN does not want bikes in their community!" reads the original post in that group. "... As you plan your fall rides in and around Brown County, please, do not spend one single cent in Nashville, IN!"

Ellis said she wants to know how the town is responding to complaints. "Written communication" from her is on the agenda of the Thursday, Oct. 17 town council meeting. As of Oct. 15, the CVB had received or responded to at least eight complaints.

Last week's sheriff's logs show that Nashville Police received four calls from motorcycle riders who were planning trips to Brown County and were concerned about getting ticketed for having aftermarket exhaust systems.

In June and July, town police received 11 noise complaints, 10 about motorcycles and one about a possible fight -- which was actually a group of loudly laughing tourists, so no action was taken on it. They issued nine citations in that period, according to a report from the town marshal.

Five of those motorcycle riders came to town council in August to contest their tickets, saying they didn't know about the ordinance and didn't see any signs posted about it. After hearing from police officers that the riders were purposely making noise they considered to be excessive -- not just riding through town on a loud vehicle -- the town council upheld the fines.

"We want to have Nashville a pleasant experience for all our guests," town council member Arthur Omberg told those riders. "We're not trying to discourage any one particular group, because we can ill afford to isolate any particular group."

Read the ordinance by clicking here.

Read more in the Oct. 23 Brown County Democrat.

See Full List »

Josephine Lee Cueto, 62, Morgantown
  Daughter of Priscilla Burgmeier of Nashville

Mary 'Jane' Kollman, 92, Nashville
  Mother of Janet (Tom) Gaskins of Nashville

Charlotte K. (Adkins) Wilson, 67, Franklin
  Former resident of Brown County

  • November 23
    Annual community-wide hymn sing planned
    6:30 p.m. Nashville Christian Church, 160 S. Van Buren St.
  • November 23
    Nashville Reserve Officers host chili cook-off
    10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nashville P.D., 200 Hawthorne Drive
  • November 25
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 25
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    6 to 7 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • November 26
    Go Club meeting Wednesday at coffee/tea shop
    3 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • November 26
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board
    4 p.m. Sheriff's Office, Law Enforcement Center, 55 State Road 46 East
  • November 28
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • November 29
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • November 29
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • December 2
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • December 3
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • December 4
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • December 12
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    noon Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • December 12
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    8 a.m. BCSP Nature Center, 1810 State Road 46 East
  • December 13
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road